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Full text of "A history of Persia"

CH. LXXX    THE AWAKENING OF PERSIA        473
empire. For her own ends she decided to construct a
line from Constantinople across Asia Minor to Baghdad.
It was proposed that it should be continued thence to
India by the British Government; and, in view of the
failure in the Red Sea, this scheme was gladly adopted.
Some years were consumed in negotiations and surveys,
but in 1863 the Overland Telegraph Convention was
concluded at Constantinople. Owing to the feeble con-
trol exercised by Turkey over the tribes to the south
of Baghdad and the malarious climate (although these
obstacles proved to be less serious than had been
anticipated), it was decided to provide an alternative line
through Persia to connect at Bushire with the cable to be
laid down the Persian Gulf.
The First Telegraph Line in Persia, 1864.—Accord-
ingly, negotiations were opened with the Shah for the
construction by British officers of a circuitous line
running from the Persian frontier near Baghdad to
Kermanshah, Hamadan, and Teheran, and from the
capital to Bushire. At first the proposal met with
strenuous resistance from the reactionary party, but the
Shah determined to benefit by the scheme, and by the
end of 1864 the first single-wire line was constructed.
The obstacles to be overcome were great, consisting in
depredations by the tribes and ignorant obstruction by
the Persian local officials ; but the British officers and
non-commissioned officers were a splendid body of men,
and thanks to their tact and capacity the original con-
cession was repeatedly modified and important develop-
ments were made.
The Indo-European Telegraph Lines.—In 1870 a
through double line was constructed by Messrs. Siemens
Brothers from London to Teheran, running across
Germany and Russia to Tabriz, and joining the already
existing line at Teheran. The lines worked by the Indo-
European Telegraph Company, as it was termed, com-
pleted direct communication between London and India,
Bushire being connected by submarine cable with Jask;
and from that station with Karachi both by a land line
and by cable.